[tor-relays] Combined relay and hidden service, good idea or not?

Tortilla tortilla at mantablue.com
Mon Jan 8 21:09:56 UTC 2018

On Mon, January 8, 2018 11:25 am, Dave Warren wrote:
> On 2018-01-08 03:21, Florentin Rochet wrote:
>>> Perhaps in the case that the HS operator is not trying to mask the HS
>>> location, the act of mixing public relay traffic can be nothing but a
>>> *help* to defeat anyone trying to correlate traffic coming to the HS
>>> with
>>> traffic emanating from any one client.
>> Yes, if the HS operator does not want to mask the HS location, then it
>> is all good. For that purpose, I agree that the warning message should
>> be changed.
> Indeed. I run some public resources (e.g. torproject.org mirror) on a
> public URL with a .onion site as well. Nothing is intended to be hidden,
> I simply want the content of anything I mirror to be available to Tor
> users without relying on an exit.
> After an "abuse" report warning me that my hidden site is "leaking" its
> location, my root robots.txt and a separate README file now both display
> the public and .onion addresses with a note that nothing is intended to
> be hidden. (I also appreciate the individual who sent the warning!)
> On the flip side, to a new/naive hidden service operator the warning
> could be useful as it may not be immediately obvious to someone just
> dipping their toes in Tor as to why and how this configuration might
> reveal their hidden service's real physical location.

Certainly!  I'm not new to Tor/HS and still got tripped up by this,
especially seeing the issue as having been closed, not having realized it
has not in fact been "fixed" and the only thing done was to add a startup
warning.  The issue really should be re-opened.  It's not unreasonable to
conclude that if the issue linked in the warning is closed that the
warning is obsolete.

> I avidly dislike warnings appearing in my logs that I intend to ignore,
> I would prefer to see this be controlled by a preference in torrc,
> either by an option to disable the warning, or better, require an
> explicit switch to be set before tor will act as both a relay and a
> hidden service. By making a "allow both HS and relay function" switch
> that is disabled by default, we could place appropriate comments in the
> default torrc file which explain the risks.

Absolutely agree -- at least if the intention is not to fix the
information leak.  Less careful HS operators may never even see the
warning.  Tor should probably refuse to start without explicit permission
to act as a relay while hosting a HS.

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